Originally Posted by Bobby Jr
His serve is better than most of the biggest servers of the 90s. Probably not Sampras but certainly a fair few.
Big servers were aided considerably by the generally much faster conditions. If you put Federer in the 90s his ace count and second serve potency would go through the roof.
Point: people love to play the "the conditions were faster back then" card looking at only one side of the coin - omitting to consider how it could positively affect -sometimes significantly - current players if they were magically transported back to the 90s. Similarly, if Sampras was playing nowdays - his service winner count would be halved, not only by speed but the significantly leaps in average serve return ability.
Again, 90's was highly specialized era. Specialists on slow clay, specialists on
skidding fast surfaces.
Federer's serve, despite best in this era, doesn't strike as one to compete well in
90's against highly specialized players of 90's. You need overpowering serve on top
of accuracy and varieties. Federer's 1st serve % can go south for extended period of
time. And he tends to love slice based serves.
Not that he would not be successful at all. I just don't think he would be as
successfull as he's been on much slower and higher bouncing Wimbledon and US Open of now.